Wedding season is in full swing right now, or at least it would be during a normal year. The reality is, even if you don’t have to cancel or postpone your big day, there’s a chance that things might look different than you envisioned. Feeling disappointment and sense of grief is normal and valid. We understand all the planning and resources that go into these momentous events! But we also want to encourage you to keep your eye on the prize – a long, happy marriage.
Here are four challenges you might be facing for your 2020 wedding – and how they might actually be an opportunity to strengthen your marriage in the long run.
Having to limit your guest list
You might be faced with having to whittle down your guest list in order to accommodate social distancing guidelines or venue capacity restrictions. What happens when you only have five spaces left, and you both have at least ten more people you can’t imagine not being there? Well, here is a great opportunity to listen and gain an understanding of what is important to each other. You might have to compromise and make a few sacrifices on each other’s behalf, things you’ll inevitably have to do throughout your marriage. Keep in mind you could always have other smaller celebrations later, perhaps on your one-year anniversary! Think of it as a way to extend the joy of your wedding day.
Worrying about money
Money can be difficult to talk about even during normal times. Now you might be dealing with some unforeseen stressors due to employment or income changes, on top of having to pay for wedding expenses. Nothing like being thrown into the deep end of talking about money! Although they can be uncomfortable, being able to have these conversations will be crucial as you navigate life together as a married couple.
Handling last minute changes
The dresses might not arrive on time. The best man works in healthcare and is not sure he’ll be able to attend. Your cake vendor might go out of business. Argh! All of this uncertainty could stress out even the most laidback couples. One skill Prepare/Enrich helps couples practice is focusing on the stressors within your control. As difficult as it can be, not wasting energy on the things beyond your control can save your sanity. Adopting a go-with-the-flow attitude while supporting each other can help you foster resilience in your relationship, which has shown to be a key characteristic of lasting relationships.
Filtering input from family and friends
Your mom might be telling you to only include immediate family. Your future in-laws want you to move the whole thing to their backyard. Your best friend thinks you should just postpone everything until you can do it all exactly how you want. Who do you listen to? Who should have the most say? Once you’re married, there are new boundaries around your couple relationship that may not have been there before. And that’s healthy! Throughout your marriage, you’ll have situations where you’ll need to juggle family and friend dynamics alongside your couple relationship. This is good practice for keeping the well-being of your marriage front and center.
This year has thrown a wrench in many couples’ wedding plans, and it can be tough coming to terms with the fact that your big day may not play out exactly as you envisioned. So we want to give you this encouragement: your relationship will benefit more having worked through these obstacles together, building resilience and setting yourself up for a thriving marriage.